Felipe Melo recently signed a one-year contract extension at Fiorentina – the main purpose of which now seems to be the addition of a £21m release clause to help La Viola as much money as possible for the Brazilian midfielder.
“Arsenal is the only club to have come close to the sum established by the release clause. Fiorentina in turn proposed to Arsenal a reduction in the amount by including right-back Emmanuel Eboue.”
Melo joined the Viola last summer from Spanish side Almeria in a transfer deal worth €8m. He made 29 league starts for Fiorentina last season and built his reputation as a hard-tackling midfielder, picking up 17 yellow and 3 red cards.
If Wenger agrees to the deal, Mello will bring much-needed experience and solidity to a weak Arsenal midfield and coupled with the signing of Thomas Vermaelen and those of Nasri and Arshavin last season points to Wenger slowly but surely bringing in quality young players with decent experience under their belts.
Arsenal fans would not lose much sleep over Eboue leaving the club (for a variety of reasons, with his poor on-the-pitch attitude being a major part of the problem), but will Wenger be willing to pay 10m or more plus Eboue for a central midfielder?